Crop circles are weird patterns flattened out in cornfields.
The first modern crop circle was reported in 1980. A farmer near Westbury saw a 20-metre impressed into one of his oat fields in May. He ploughed it in, but more appeared in the course of the next few months. He found that, although the crop was flattened, it still continued to grow. When this incident was reported, a local UFO investigation group suggested the possibility of a UFO landing there and leaving a pattern. This idea though, faded to nothing.
But over the next few years, more crop circles were reported, especially in Wiltshire and Hampshire. More ufologists examined the idea and many magazines wrote articles regarding this. Soon, these stories were picked up by the national media and then everybody knew about this and more reports sprang up.
Crop circles: Cheesefoot Head near Winchester, Hampshire, 1993
In the beginning crop circles were just circles flattened on oats or wheat, with plainly clear edges. The plants were folded gently down, generally in a neat swirl. But as crop circles were more and more well known, other shapes appeared. There were circles linked by lines, curves and other decorative patterns.
This attracted a lot of attention. There were books, shows and even t-shirts. Investigations were done and it was discovered that crop circles had been reported for over a century. There was even one report from 1590 in Holland! They also found that crop circles could also be found in many other countries including Russia, Canada and New Zealand.
In northern Queensland, Australia in 1966 a farmer had seen a dark oval of spiralling air touch a bed of reeds and leave a circle of bent over crops.
Crop circles: Westbury, Wiltshire, 1988 © Fortean Picture Library
Later on, it was found out that elaborate crop circles are actually man-made hoaxes while the simple ones have not been explained, but might possibly be a result of a natural phenomenon.
© Fortean Picture Library
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